Top 8 Social Network Hosting Applications02/28/2012
It’s no secret – social networks are the hottest thing at the moment. From stay-at-home moms to Fortune 500 corporations, users meet on social websites to share news, spread ideas, and simply hang out. The big league of social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and a few select others – boasts a combined reach that dwarfs the influence of all other forms of media. Facebook alone has more than 850 million users worldwide and is still growing steadily in most parts of the world.
In this context, Internet entrepreneurs have one big question: is there any room left? Can new social-based sites grow in the shadow of giants like Facebook? The answer is a definite “yes.” There are still many untapped niches that can support successful social networks. With a suitable social network hosting application, anyone can develop a community website, dating site, or a thriving social network, from scratch.
With a good social network web host and a specialized application, you too can create a hot social website, or even tomorrow’s social sensation. By reading this article, you can learn about the most important social network hosting solutions available today. Read on to discover the best tools to establish your social website without investing a fortune in custom development.
StatusNet social network web hosting
Formerly known as Laconica, StatusNet is a micro-blogging software platform oriented toward business environments. Put simply, StatusNet allows you to create an internal, Twitter-like network that people in your company can use to share information and collaborate. StatusNet is available in a free version and in an extended, paid version that offers advanced administrative functionality, custom branding, and preferential support services.
As a productivity-oriented social network hosting solution, StatusNet can replace traditional intranets, thanks to features like file sharing, user groups, custom access, and advanced security. In addition, StatusNet can be easily integrated with existing business apps, such as ERP systems, via a set of APIs.
Dolphin social network web hosting
Created by BoonEx, Dolphin is one of the most comprehensive social network web hosting applications available today. Dolphin is an open source, scalable, customizable, and feature-rich community software that makes it easy to create any type of social website. With a good Dolphin social network web host and a bit of elbow grease, you can build your own social network, dating website, or community website based on an interest, passion, or location.
BoonEx Dolphin runs on the PHP/MySQL platform, meaning that you only need an affordable Linux-based social network web hosting service to use it. You can use Dolphin for free if you accept a footer link to BoonEx, or you can buy a link-free version. The more expensive versions give you additional features, full access to the source code, and access to mobile Dolphin apps for iPhone and Android.
BuddyPress social network web hosting
Do you love WordPress? Would you like to combine the awesome power of WordPress with the reach of a social network? BuddyPress is the answer to your needs.
BuddyPress is not an actual application, but rather a collection of WordPress plugins and themes. With BuddyPress, you can turn your run-of-the-mill WordPress hosting plan into a powerful social network web hosting solution, without spending a dime. BuddyPress makes it easy to create a social network for your university or school, an internal collaboration tool for your organization, or a niche social network. Taking the social features of WordPress to the next level, BuddyPress is the best solution for you if you are already a WordPress expert and don’t want to spend time on learning new applications.
eMeeting social network web hosting
Dating websites are among the fastest-growing online properties, as more and more people get accustomed to using the Web for finding partners. eMeeting is an online dating script that lets you quickly and easily create an attractive dating site. Unlike most other social network hosting solutions on our list, eMeeting is a closed source application, with a one-site, basic license representing its most affordable option.
eMeeting features many ready-made templates, as well as a built-in editor for quick appearance customization. Other notable features of eMeeting include its powerful administration options, integration with most big payment gateways, in-depth analytics tools, chat rooms, forums, and instant messaging. If you are planning to offer live chat, make sure to opt for a good social network server hosting solution, as chat room applications are typically very demanding on the processor.
AbleDating social network web hosting
AbleDating provides a range of social network solutions, including the Chameleon dating script, a community site maker, and a business-oriented social application. AbleDating claims that Chameleon is the only social application that provides built-in support for 3D Flash games and an AJAX interface. The application also offers video chat capability, galleries, greeting recordings, plus many features that are specific to dating sites – advanced matchmaking, a Hot-or-Not module, and more.
AbleDating’s Chameleon software is the most expensive offering on our list. However, its rich and unique feature set may make it a good choice to use with your social network web host.
phpFox social network web hosting
If you want to build a Facebook-like social network, phpFox is the tool for you. Not only does it give you access to most of the features you see on Facebook, but it even lets you mimic the look and feel of the world’s largest social networking website.
phpFox boasts an impressive features list, including third-party app support, mobile versions, pages, groups, CMS capabilities, blogs, photo galleries, private messaging, custom privacy settings, and much more. Regardless of what type of social site you want to build, you will find that phpFox offers all the tools you need. As its name implies, phpFox requires that you choose a PHP social network web hosting provider. If you need advanced functionality, such as video streaming support, check out the application’s “About” page for a complete list of system requirements.
Elgg social network web hosting
Elgg is an open source social networking engine that runs on the LAMP stack and is licensed under the terms of the GNU license. Elgg contains the tools you need to create blogging platforms, micro-blogging sites, file sharing sites, social networks, and community sites. Its wide range of capabilities makes Elgg suitable for use as a full-fledged CMS, and many users appreciate its similarity to the popular open source CMS Drupal.
Elgg was originally designed as an e-learning platform, hence the high number of universities and educational organizations that use it to power their internal social networks. If you require a powerful, well-structured, and customizable social network hosting solution, then Elgg is your best choice.
eFriends social network web hosting
eFriends is another closed source social network hosting application, whose lowest-priced package includes a basic license plus six widgets. Users can add eFriends widgets, such as e-cards, photo cubes, or countdown timers, to their profiles.
eFriends offers most of the features that you would expect from a social network script, as well as a few extras, such as MP3 albums, listings, articles, and more. For a complete list of features, visit the developer’s website. Make sure to check the software’s requirements to ensure compatibility with your social network web hosting service.
Looking for a top social network hosting provider?
Certified Hosting, a leading provider of quality web hosting services, offers a wide range of social network hosting solutions, including Elgg hosting, phpFox hosting, StatusNet hosting, and Dolphin hosting. Whether you are looking to create a niche social site, a product-centric social network, or an online dating website, at Certified Hosting you get top quality infrastructure, free installation services, and 24/7 support.